proportional representation
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Proportional representation (PR) refers to a type of electoral system under which subgroups of an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical (e.g. states, regions) and political divisions ( political parties) of the electorate. The essence of such systems is that all votes cast - or almost all votes cast - contribute to the result and are actually used to help elect someone—not just a plurality, or a bare
majority A majority, also called a simple majority or absolute majority to distinguish it from #Related terms, related terms, is more than half of the total.Dictionary definitions of ''majority'' aMerriam-WebsterUS House of Representatives has 435 districts which are drawn so roughly equal or "proportional" numbers of people live within each district, yet members of the House are elected in first-past-the-post elections: first-past-the-post is ''not'' proportional by vote share. The most prevalent forms such methods require either a more general pooling of votes (as most party-list systems use and MMP systems use in conjunction with single-member or multi-member districts) or the use of multiple-member voting districts as is used in Single transferable voting. MMP in New Zealand uses country-wide party vote tallies to assess how many additional members parties will get. PR systems that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to use as general pooling as possible (often country-wide) or districts with large numbers of seats. A pooling of votes to elect more than a hundred members is used in Angola, for example. STV though has never been used to elect more than 21 in a single contest to this point in history. Under STV, districts usually have 5 to 9 seats. With nine seats, any voting block with at least ten percent of the vote in the district takes at least one seat. STV works with districts having more than ten seats as well - a district with 42 seats (21 filled in any one election) is in use today (NSW, Australia) covering a whole state. In such a case any voting group in NSW with about five percent of the vote takes one seat or more. The most widely used families of PR electoral systems are ''party-list PR'', used in 85 countries, ''mixed-member PR'' (MMP), used in 7 countries, and ''
single transferable vote Single transferable vote (STV) is a multi-winner electoral system in which voters cast a single vote in the form of a ranked-choice ballot. Voters have the option to rank candidates, and their vote may be transferred according to alternate ...
'' (STV), used in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...

Ireland
, and Australian Senate. Due to factors such as electoral thresholds and the use of small constituencies, as well as manipulation tactics such as party splitting and , perfect proportionality is rarely achieved under these systems. Nonetheless, they approximate proportionality much better than other systems. Some jurisdictions use leveling seats (top-up) to compensate for the dis-proportional results produced in single-member districts (such as New Zealand's MMP) or to polish the fairness produced in multi-member districts (such as in Denmark's MMP). Other jurisdictions use additional seats to produce specific results - such as the election of women (to address the gender proportionality) and to ensure that the party with more than half the votes has more than half the seats.


Basics

Proportional electoral systems always have to allow for multiple winners. To achieve their intended effect, there (usually) needs to be more than one seat in each district. Elections for a single president cannot be based on proportional representation, but a legislative body (assembly, parliament) may be elected proportionally. In the for instance, each member state has a number of seats that is (roughly) proportional to its population, enabling geographical proportional representation. Almost all European countries also have political proportional representation (ideological proportional representation to the degree that parties honestly describe their goals): When ''n''% of the electorate support a particular political party or set of candidates as their favorite, then roughly ''n''% of seats are allotted to that party or those candidates. All proportional systems aim to provide some form of equal representation for votes, but may differ in their approaches on how they achieve this.


How party-list PR works

Party list PR, the most commonly used version of proportional representation, involves parties in the election process. Voters do not primarily vote for candidates (persons), but for ''electoral lists'' (or ''party lists''), which are lists of candidates that parties put forward. The mechanism that allocates seats to the parties/lists is how these systems achieve proportionality. Once this is done, the candidates who take the seats are based on the order in which they appear on the list. This is the basic, closed list version of list PR. An example election where the assembly has 200 seats to be filled is presented below. Every voter votes for the list created by their favourite party and the results of the election are as follows (popular vote). Under party-list PR, every party gets a number of seats proportional to their share of the popular vote. This is done by a proportional formula/method, for example the D'Hondt method (also called the Jefferson method). Votes and seats often cannot be mathematically perfectly allocated, so some amount of rounding has to be done. The various methods deal with this in different ways, although the difference is reduced if there are many seats ― for example, if the whole country is one district. Party list PR is also more complicated in reality than in the example, as countries often use more than one district, multiple tiers (e.g. local, regional and national), open lists or an electoral threshold.


How the single transferable vote (STV) works

The single transferable vote is an older method than party-list PR, and it does not need to formally involve parties in the election process. Instead of parties putting forward ordered lists of candidates, it is the voters themselves who rank the candidates. This is done using a preferential ballot. STV can be used for nonpartisan elections such as the city council of
Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area, the cities population of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 U.S. census was 118,403, making it the fourth most ...
. Counting votes under STV in a realistic election scenario is complicated, but a simplified example can show how proportionality is achieved in a district with 4 seats. In reality, districts need to be larger to truly achieve proportionality, but not so large that there are too many candidates for voters to rank. In this example each candidate belongs to a party and for a candidate to be elected, they need to earn more than 25% of the votes (this is called a ''quota'', more specifically the Droop quota. Note that it is impossible for 4 candidates to all get more than 25% of the votes. In the first step, the first preferences (favourite candidates) of all the voters are counted and all candidates who pass the quota are elected. Next, the votes the candidates received above the quota (surplus votes that they did not need to get elected) are transferred to the next preferences of the voters who voted for them. For the example we suppose that all voters of Joe Smith prefer John Citizen as their second choice (as he is also from Party A) and all voters of Fred Rubble prefer Mary Hill as their second choice (as she is also from Party B). Based on this we reallocate the votes and find that John Citizen has passed the quota and so got elected to the 3rd and last seat that we had to fill.


How mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) works

Mixed Member Proportional Representation combines election of district members with election of additional members as compensatory top-up. Often MMDP systems use single-member districts to elect district members. (Denmark uses multi-member districts in its MMP system). MMP with SMDs is described here. The mixed-member proportional system combines single member plurality voting (SMP), also known as first-past-the-post (FPTP), with party-list PR in a way that the overall result of the election is supposed to be proportional. The voter may vote for a district candidate as well as a party. The main idea behind MMP is ''compensation'', meaning that the list-PR seat allocation is not independent of the results of the district level voting. First-past-the-post is a single winner system and cannot be proportional (winner-takes-all), so these disproportionalities are compensated by the party-list component. A simple, yet common version of MMP has as many list-PR seats as there are single-member districts. In the example it can be seen, as is often the case in reality, that the results of the districts elections are highly disproportional: large parties typically win more seats than they would under a simple list-PR system, but a party that won more votes than another party might not win more seats. MMP gives only as many compensatory seats to a party as they need to have the number of seats of each party be proportional. Another way to say this is that MMP focuses on making the final outcome proportional. Compare this to parallel voting, which is a mixed-member ''majoritarian'' system: here the party-list PR seat allocation is ''independent'' of the district results, meaning that there is ''no compensation''. The popular vote, the number of districts won by each party, and the number of districts and party-list PR seats are all the same, yet the total number of seats is different. The overall results are not proportional, but semi-proportional. This shows that for a mixed system to be proportional, it has to be compensatory. There are many versions of MMP in use. Some use only a single vote, some allocate compensatory seats to best losers, and some use levelling seats to compensate for potential
overhang seat Overhang seats are constituency seats won in an election under the traditional mixed-member proportional representation, mixed member proportional (MMP) system (as it originated in Germany), when a party's share of the nationwide votes would ent ...
s.


Advantages and disadvantages

The case for a Single Transferrable Vote system, a form of proportional representation, was made by
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873) was an English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the ...
in his 1861 essay '' Considerations on Representative Government'': Mill's essay does not support Party-based Proportional Representation and may indicate a distaste for the ills of Party-based systems in saying:
Of all modes in which a national representation can possibly be constituted, this one affords the best security for the intellectual qualifications desirable in the representatives. At present, by universal admission, it is becoming more and more difficult for any one who has only talents and character to gain admission into the House of Commons. The only persons who can get elected are those who possess local influence, or make their way by lavish expenditure, or who, on the invitation of three or four tradesmen or attorneys, are sent down by one of the two great parties from their London clubs, as men whose votes the party can depend on under all circumstances.
Many political theorists agree with Mill that in a
representative democracy Representative democracy, also known as indirect democracy, is a types of democracy, type of democracy where elected people Representation (politics), represent a group of people, in contrast to direct democracy. Nearly all modern liberal democr ...
the representatives should represent all substantial segments of society but want reform rather than abolition of direct local community representation in the legislature. STV and the Additional-Member system both produce local area representation and overall PR through mixed, balanced representation at the district level.


Fairness

PR tries to resolve the unfairness of majoritarian and
plurality voting Plurality voting refers to electoral systems in which a candidate, or candidates, who poll more than any other counterpart (that is, receive a plurality (voting), plurality), are elected. In systems based on single-member districts, it elects j ...
systems where the largest parties receive an "unfair" seat bonus and smaller parties are disadvantaged, always under-represented, and on occasion win no representation at all ( Duverger's law). An established party in UK elections can win majority control of the House of Commons with as little as 35% of votes ( 2005 UK general election). In certain Canadian elections, majority governments have been formed by parties with the support of under 40% of votes cast ( 2011 Canadian election, 2015 Canadian election). If turnout levels in the electorate are less than 60%, such outcomes allow a party to form a majority government by convincing as few as one quarter of the electorate to vote for it. In the 2005 UK election, for example, the Labour Party under
Tony Blair Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British former politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He pr ...
won a comfortable parliamentary majority with the votes of only 21.6% of the total electorate. Such misrepresentation has been criticized as "no longer a question of 'fairness' but of elementary rights of citizens". However, intermediate PR systems with a high electoral threshold, or other features that reduce proportionality, are not necessarily much fairer: in the
2002 Turkish general election General elections were held in Turkey on 3 November 2002 following the collapse of the Democratic Left Party (Turkey), Democratic Left Party–Nationalist Movement Party–Motherland Party (Turkey), Motherland Party coalition led by Bülent Ece ...
, using an open list system with a 10% threshold, 46% of votes were wasted. Plurality/majoritarian systems also benefit regional parties that win many seats in the region where they have a strong following but have little support nationally, while other parties with national support that is not concentrated in specific districts, like the Greens, win few or no seats. An example is the
Bloc Québécois The Bloc Québécois (BQ; , "Québécois people, Quebecer Voting bloc, Bloc") is a list of federal political parties in Canada, federal political party in Canada devoted to Quebec nationalism and the promotion of Quebec sovereignty movement, Que ...
in Canada that won 52 seats in the 1993 federal election, all in
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Government of Canada, Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is ...
, on 13.5% of the national vote, while the Progressive Conservatives collapsed to two seats on 16% spread nationally. The Conservative party although strong nationally had had very strong regional support in the West but in this election its supporters in the West turned to the Reform party, which won most of its seats west of Saskatchewan and none east of Manitoba. Similarly, in the 2015 UK General Election, the
Scottish National Party The Scottish National Party (SNP; sco, Scots National Pairty, gd, Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba ) is a Scottish nationalism, Scottish nationalist and social democracy, social democratic list of political parties in Scotland, political party ...
gained 56 seats, all in
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...
, with a 4.7% share of the national vote while the
UK Independence Party The UK Independence Party (UKIP; ) is a Eurosceptic, right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. The party reached its greatest level of success in the mid-2010s, when it gained two Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), member ...
, with 12.6%, gained only a single seat.


Representation of minor parties

The use of multiple-member districts enables a greater variety of candidates to be elected. Having more representatives per district and lowering the percentage of votes required for election allows more minor parties to gain representation. It has been argued that in emerging democracies, inclusion of minorities in the legislature can be essential for social stability and to consolidate the democratic process. Critics, on the other hand, claim this can give extreme parties a foothold in parliament, sometimes cited as a cause for the collapse of the Weimar government. With very low thresholds, very small parties can act as "king-makers", holding larger parties to ransom during
coalition A coalition is a group formed when two or more people or groups temporarily work together to achieve a common goal. The term is most frequently used to denote a formation of power in political or economical spaces. Formation According to ''A Gui ...
discussions. The example of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
is often quoted, but these problems can be limited, as in the modern German
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal Diet (assembly), Diet") is the German Federalism, federal parliament. It is the only federal representative body that is directly elected by the German people. It is comparable to the United States House of Representat ...
, by the introduction of higher threshold limits for a party to gain parliamentary representation (which in turn increases the number of wasted votes). Another criticism is that the dominant parties in plurality/majoritarian systems, often looked on as "coalitions" or as " broad churches", can fragment under PR as the election of candidates from smaller groups becomes possible. Israel, Brazil, and Italy (until
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) are examples. However, research shows, in general, there is only a small increase in the number of parties in parliament (although small parties have larger representation) under PR. Open list systems and STV, the only prominent PR system which does not require political parties, enable
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candidates to be elected. In Ireland, on average, about six independent candidates have been elected each parliament. This can lead to a situation where forming a Parliamentary majority requires support of one or more of these independent representatives. In some cases these independents have positions that are closely aligned with the governing party and it hardly matters. The Irish Government formed after the
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election even included independent representatives in the cabinet of a minority government. In others, the electoral platform is entirely local and addressing this is a price for support.


Coalitions

The election of smaller parties gives rise to one of the principal objections to PR systems, that they almost always result in
coalition government A coalition government is a form of government in which political parties cooperate to form a government. The usual reason for such an arrangement is that no single party has achieved an absolute majority after an election, an atypical outcome in ...
s. Supporters of PR see coalitions as an advantage, forcing compromise between parties to form a coalition at the centre of the
political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different Politics, political positions in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one or more Geometry, geometric Coordinate axis, axes that represent independent politica ...
, and so leading to continuity and stability. Opponents counter that with many policies compromise is not possible. Neither can many policies be easily positioned on the left-right spectrum (for example, the environment). So policies are horse-traded during coalition formation, with the consequence that voters have no way of knowing which policies will be pursued by the government they elect; voters have less influence on governments. Also, coalitions do not necessarily form at the centre, and small parties can have excessive influence, supplying a coalition with a majority only on condition that a policy or policies favoured by few voters is/are adopted. Most importantly, the ability of voters to vote a party in disfavour out of power is curtailed. All these disadvantages, the PR opponents contend, are avoided by two-party plurality systems. Coalitions are rare; the two dominant parties necessarily compete at the centre for votes, so that governments are more reliably moderate; the strong opposition necessary for proper scrutiny of government is assured; and governments remain sensitive to public sentiment because they can be, and are, regularly voted out of power. However, this is not necessarily so; a two-party system can result in a "drift to extremes", hollowing out the centre, or, at least, in one party drifting to an extreme. The opponents of PR also contend that coalition governments created under PR are less stable, and elections are more frequent. Italy is an often-cited example with many governments composed of many different coalition partners. However, Italy is unusual in that both its houses can make a government fall, whereas other PR nations have either just one house or have one of their two houses be the core body supporting a government. Italy's current parallel voting system is not PR, so Italy is not an appropriate candidate for measuring the stability of PR.


Voter participation

Plurality systems usually result in single-party-majority government because generally fewer parties are elected in large numbers under FPTP compared to PR, and FPTP compresses politics to little more than two-party contests. Relatively few votes in a few of the most finely balanced districts, the " swing seats", are able to swing majority control in the house. Incumbents in less evenly divided districts are invulnerable to slight swings of political mood. In the UK, for example, about half the constituencies have always elected the same party since 1945; in the 2012 US House elections 45 districts (10% of all districts) were uncontested by one of the two dominant parties. Voters who know their preferred candidate will not win have little incentive to vote, and even if they do their votes have no effect, although they are still counted in the popular vote calculation. With PR, there are no " swing seats". Most votes contribute to the election of a candidate, so parties need to campaign in all districts, not just those where their support is strongest or where they perceive most advantage. This fact in turn encourages parties to be more responsive to voters, producing a more "balanced" ticket by nominating more women and minority candidates. On average about 8% more women are elected. Since most votes count, there are fewer "
wasted vote In electoral systems, a wasted vote is any vote which is not for an elected candidate or, more broadly, a vote that does not help to elect a candidate. The narrower meaning includes ''lost votes'', being only those votes which are for a losing candi ...
s", so voters, aware that their vote can make a difference, are more likely to make the effort to vote, and less likely to vote tactically. Compared to countries with plurality electoral systems,
voter turnout In political science, voter turnout is the participation rate (often defined as those who cast a ballot) of a given election. This can be the percentage of Voter registration, registered voters, Suffrage, eligible voters, or all Voting age, voting ...
improves and the population is more involved in the political process. However, some experts argue that transitioning from plurality to PR only increases voter turnout in geographical areas associated with
safe seat A safe seat is an electoral district (constituency) in a legislative body (e.g. Congress, Parliament, City Council) which is regarded as fully secure, for either a certain political party, or the incumbent representative personally or a combi ...
s under the plurality system; turnout may decrease in areas formerly associated with swing seats.


Gerrymandering

To ensure approximately equal representation, plurality systems are dependent on the drawing of boundaries of their
single-member district A single-member district is an electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, or (election) precinct is a subdivision of a larger Sta ...
s, a process vulnerable to political interference (). To compound the problem, boundaries have to be periodically re-drawn to accommodate population changes. Even apolitically drawn boundaries can unintentionally produce the effect of gerrymandering, reflecting naturally occurring concentrations. PR systems with their multiple-member districts are less prone to this research suggests five-seat districts or larger are immune to gerrymandering. Equality of size of multiple-member districts is not important (the number of seats can vary) so districts can be aligned with historical territories of varying sizes such as cities, counties, states, or provinces. Later population changes can be accommodated by simply adjusting the number of representatives elected. For example, Professor Mollison in his 2010 plan for STV for the UK divided the country into 143 districts and then allocated a different number of seats to each district (to equal the existing total of 650) depending on the number of voters in each but with wide ranges (his five-seat districts include one with 327,000 voters and another with 382,000 voters). His district boundaries follow historical
county A county is a geographic region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
and
local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-loca ...
boundaries, yet he achieves more uniform representation than does the Boundary Commission, the body responsible for balancing the UK's first-past-the-post constituency sizes. Mixed member systems are susceptible to gerrymandering for the local seats that remain a part of such systems. Under parallel voting, a semi-proportional system, there is no compensation for the effects that such gerrymandering might have. Under MMP, the use of compensatory list seats makes gerrymandering less of an issue. However, its effectiveness in this regard depends upon the features of the system, including the size of the regional districts, the relative share of list seats in the total, and opportunities for
collusion Collusion is a deceitful agreement or secret cooperation between two or more parties to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading or defrauding others of their legal right. Collusion is not always considered illegal. It can be used to att ...
that might exist. A striking example of how the compensatory mechanism can be undermined can be seen in the
2014 Hungarian parliamentary election The 2014 Hungarian parliamentary election took place on 6 April 2014. This parliamentary election was the 7th since the 1990 Hungarian parliamentary election, 1990 first multi-party election. The result was a victory for the Fidesz–Christian De ...
, where the leading party,
Fidesz Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance (; hu, Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Szövetség) is a right-wing populist and national-conservative List of political parties in Hungary, political party in Hungary, led by Viktor Orbán. It was formed in 19 ...
, combined gerrymandering and decoy lists, which resulted in a two-thirds parliamentary majority from a 45% vote. This illustrates how certain implementations of mixed systems (if non-compensatory or insufficiently compensatory) can produce moderately proportional outcomes, similar to parallel voting.


Link between constituent and representative

It is generally accepted that a particular advantage of plurality electoral systems such as
first past the post In a first-past-the-post electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Electoral systems are used in poli ...
, or majoritarian electoral systems such as the alternative vote, is the geographic link between representatives and their constituents. A notable disadvantage of PR is that, as its multiple-member districts are made larger, this link is weakened. In party list PR systems without delineated districts, such as the Netherlands and Israel, the geographic link between representatives and their constituents is considered weak, but has shown to play a role for some parties. Yet with relatively small multiple-member districts, in particular with STV, there are counter-arguments: about 90% of voters can consult a representative they voted for, someone whom they might think more sympathetic to their problem. In such cases it is sometimes argued that constituents and representatives have a closer link; constituents have a choice of representative so they can consult one with particular expertise in the topic at issue. With multiple-member districts, prominent candidates have more opportunity to be elected in their home constituencies, which they know and can represent authentically. There is less likely to be a strong incentive to
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them into constituencies in which they are strangers and thus less than ideal representatives. Mixed-member PR systems incorporate single-member districts to preserve the link between constituents and representatives. However, because up to half the parliamentary seats are list rather than district seats, the districts are necessarily up to twice as large as with a plurality/majoritarian system where all representatives serve single-member districts. An interesting case occurred in the Netherlands, when "out of the blue" a party for the elderly, the General Elderly Alliance gained six seats in the 1994 election. The other parties had not paid attention, but this made them aware. With the next election, the Party of the Elderly was gone, because the established parties had started to listen to the elderly. Today, a party for older folks,
50PLUS 50PLUS (; abbreviated 50+) is a list of political parties in the Netherlands, political party in the Netherlands that advocates List of pensioners' parties, pensioners' interests. The party was founded in 2009 by Maurice Koopman, Alexander Münnin ...
, has established itself in the Netherlands, albeit never with the same high number of seats. This can be seen as an example how geography in itself may not be a good enough reason to establish voting results around it and overturn all other particulars of the voting population. In a sense, voting in districts restricts the voters to a specific geography. Proportional voting follows the exact outcome of all the votes.


Potential lack of balance in presidential systems

In a
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government, typically with the title of President (government title), president, leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from ...
, the president is chosen independently from the parliament. As a consequence, it is possible to have a divided government where a parliament and president have opposing views and may want to balance each other's influence. However, the proportional system favors government of coalitions of many smaller parties that require compromising and negotiating topics. As a consequence, these coalitions might have difficulties presenting a united front to counter presidential influence, leading to a lack of balance between these two powers. With a proportionally elected House, a President may strong-arm certain political issues This issue does not happen in a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy ...
, where the prime-minister is elected indirectly by the parliament itself. As a consequence, a divided government is impossible. Even if the political views change with time and the prime minister loses their support from parliament, they can be replaced with a
motion of no confidence A motion of no confidence, also variously called a vote of no confidence, no-confidence motion, motion of confidence, or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility like in government or mana ...
. Effectively, both measures make it impossible to create a divided government.


Attributes of PR systems


District magnitude

Academics agree that the most important influence on proportionality is an electoral district's magnitude, the number of representatives elected from the district. As magnitude increases, proportionality improves. Some scholars recommend for STV voting districts of roughly four to eight seats, which are considered small relative to PR systems in general, which frequently have district magnitudes in the hundreds. At one extreme, the binomial electoral system used in
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between 1989 and 2013, a nominally proportional open-list system, features two-member districts. As this system can be expected to result in the election of one candidate from each of the two dominant political blocks in most districts, it is not generally considered proportional. At the other extreme, where the district encompasses the entire country (and with a low minimum threshold, highly proportionate representation of political parties can result), parties gain by broadening their appeal by nominating more minority and women candidates. After the introduction of STV in
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in 1921, district magnitudes slowly diminished as more and more three-member constituencies were defined, benefiting the dominant
Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil (, ; meaning 'Soldiers of Destiny' or 'Warriors of Fál'), officially Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party ( ga, audio=ga-Fianna Fáil.ogg, Fianna Fáil – An Páirtí Poblachtánach), is a conservative Con ...
, until 1979 when an independent boundary commission was established reversing the trend. In 2010, a parliamentary constitutional committee recommended a minimum magnitude of four. Despite relatively low magnitudes, Ireland has generally experienced highly proportional results. In the
FairVote FairVote, formerly the Center for Voting and Democracy, is a 501(c)(3) organization that advocates electoral reform in the United States. Founded in 1992 as Citizens for Proportional Representation to support the implementation of proportional r ...
plan for STV (which FairVote calls ''choice voting'') for the US House of Representatives, three- to five-member super-districts are proposed. In Professor Mollison's plan for STV in the UK, four- and five-member districts are mostly used, with three and six seat districts used as necessary to fit existing boundaries, and even two and single member districts used where geography dictates.


Electoral threshold

The electoral threshold is the minimum vote required to win one seat. The lower the threshold, the higher the proportion of votes contributing to the election of representatives and the lower the proportion of votes wasted. All electoral systems have electoral thresholds, either formally defined or the natural threshold, which is the mathematical consequence of the district magnitude and election parameters. A formal threshold usually requires parties to win a certain percentage of the vote in order to be awarded seats from the party lists. In Germany and New Zealand (both MMP), the threshold is 5% of the national vote but the threshold is not applied to parties that win a minimum number of constituency seats (three in Germany, one in New Zealand). Turkey defines a threshold of 10%, the Netherlands 0.67%. Israel has raised its threshold from 1% (before 1992) to 1.5% (up to 2004), 2% (in
2006 File:2006 Events Collage V1.png, From top left, clockwise: The 2006 Winter Olympics open in Turin; Twitter is founded and launched by Jack Dorsey; The Nintendo Wii is released; Montenegro 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum, votes to declare ...
) and 3.25% in 2014. South Africa has no explicit electoral threshold, only a natural threshold ~0.2%. A list of electoral thresholds by country shows a typical electoral threshold for party-list PR is 3-5%. In STV elections, winning the quota (ballots/(seats+1)) of first preference votes assures election. However, well regarded candidates who attract good second (and third, etc.) preference support can hope to win election with only half the quota of first preference votes. Thus, in a six-seat district the effective threshold would be 7.14% of first preference votes (100/(6+1)/2). For a district magnitude of 3, the STV electoral threshold is 12.5 %, significantly higher than typical party-list PR. The need to attract second preferences tends to promote consensus and disadvantage extremes. The electoral threshold has different effects on STV than on Party-list PR. For STV the votes for candidates below natural threshold are not wasted, but transferred to the next-indicated choice. For party-list PR a vote for a party below electoral threshold is an
unrepresented vote The unrepresented voters are considered the total amount of voters not represented by any party sitting in the legislature in the case of proportional representation. In contrast, the related concept of wasted votes generally applies to plurality vo ...
, unless the spare vote system is applied.


Party magnitude

Party magnitude is the number of candidates elected from one party in one district. As party magnitude increases a more balanced ticket will be more successful encouraging parties to nominate women and minority candidates for election. But under STV, nominating too many candidates can be counter-productive, splitting the first-preference votes and allowing the candidates to be eliminated before receiving transferred votes from other parties. An example of this was identified in a ward in the 2007 Scottish local elections where Labour, putting up three candidates, won only one seat while they might have won two had one of their voters' preferred candidates not stood. The same effect may have contributed to the collapse of
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in the
2011 Irish general election The 2011 Irish general election took place on Friday 25 February to elect 166 Teachtaí Dála across 43 constituencies to Dáil Éireann, the lower house A lower house is one of two Debate chamber, chambers of a Bicameralism, bicameral l ...
.


Others

Other aspects of PR can influence proportionality such as the size of the elected body, the choice of open or closed lists, ballot design, and vote counting methods.


Measuring disproportionality

Exact proportionality has a single unambiguous definition: the seat shares must exactly equal the vote shares. When this condition is violated, the allocation is disproportional, and it may be interesting to examine the ''degree'' of disproportionality – the degree to which the number of seats won by each party differs from that of a perfectly proportional outcome. This degree does not have a single unambiguous definition. Some common disproportionality indexes are: * The Loosemore–Hanby index - calculated by subtracting each party's vote share from its seat share, adding up the absolute values (ignoring any negative signs), and dividing by two. **Related to it is the Rae index. It measures the average deviation, while the Loosemore–Hanby index measures the total deviation. **Related to the amount of
unrepresented vote The unrepresented voters are considered the total amount of voters not represented by any party sitting in the legislature in the case of proportional representation. In contrast, the related concept of wasted votes generally applies to plurality vo ...
, which only measures the difference between votes cast and seats obtained for parties which did not obtain any seat. * The Gallagher Index - involves squaring the difference between each party's vote share and seat share, and taking the square root of the sum. **Related to it is the Sainte-Laguë Index - where the discrepancy between a party's vote share and seat share is measured relative to its vote share. The disproportionality changes from one election to another depending on voter behavior and size of effective electoral threshold, here shown is the unrepresented vote for New Zealand. In
2005 New Zealand general election 5 (five) is a number A number is a mathematical object used to count, measure, and label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with number words. More universally, ...
every party above 1% got seats due to the electoral threshold in New Zealand of at least one seat in first-past-the-post voting, which caused a much lower unrepresented vote compared to the other years. Different indexes measure different concepts of disproportionality. Some disproportionality concepts have been mapped to
social welfare function In welfare economics, a social welfare function is a function (mathematics), function that ranks social states (alternative complete descriptions of the society) as less desirable, more desirable, or indifference curve, indifferent for every possib ...
s. Disproportionality indexes are sometimes used to evaluate existing and proposed electoral systems. For example, the Canadian Parliament's 2016 Special Committee on Electoral Reform recommended that a system be designed to achieve "a Gallagher score of 5 or less". This indicated a much lower degree of disproportionality than observed in the 2015 Canadian election under
first-past-the-post voting In a first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP or FPP), formally called single-member plurality voting (SMP) when used in single-member districts or informally choose-one voting in contrast to ranked voting, or score voting, voters cast the ...
, where the Gallagher index was 12. There are various other measures of proportionality, some of them have software implementation. The common indexes (Loosemore–Hanby, Gallagher, Sainte-Laguë) do not support
ranked voting The term ranked voting (also known as preferential voting or ranked choice voting) refers to any voting system in which voters ranking, rank their candidates (or options) in a sequence of first or second (or third, etc.) on their respective ball ...
. An alternative that does support it is the Droop proportionality criterion (DPC). It requires that if, for some set ''M'' of candidates, there exist more than ''k'' Droop quotas of voters who rank them at the top , ''M'', positions, then at least ''k'' candidates from ''M'' are elected. In the special case in which voters vote solely by party, DPC implies proportionality.


PR electoral systems


Party Based Systems


Party list PR

Party list proportional representation is an electoral system in which seats are first allocated to parties based on vote share, and then assigned to party-affiliated candidates on the parties'
electoral list An electoral list is a grouping of candidates for election, usually found in Proportional representation, proportional or Mixed electoral system, mixed electoral systems, but also in some plurality electoral system, electoral systems. An elector ...
s. This system is used in many countries, including
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia Russia (, , ), or the Ru ...
(open list),
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of ...
(open list),
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
(open list),
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
(national closed list),
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
(open list),
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), formerly the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...
(closed list) as adopted in 2008 in first CA election, the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
(open list),
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
(closed list),
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the ...
(closed list),
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo (french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC), colloquially "La RDC" ), informally Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly and also colloquially Zaire, is a country in ...
(open list), and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...
(open list). For elections to the , most
member states A member state is a state that is a member of an international organization or of a federation or confederation. Since the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) include some members that are not sovereign states ...
use open lists; but most large EU countries use closed lists, so that the majority of EP seats are distributed by those. Local lists were used to elect the
Italian Senate The Senate of the Republic ( it, Senato della Repubblica), or simply the Senate ( it, Senato), is the upper house of the bicameral Italian Parliament The Italian Parliament ( it, Parlamento italiano) is the national parliament of the Itali ...
during the second half of the 20th century. Some common types of electoral lists are: *
Closed list Closed list describes the variant of party-list systems where voters can effectively only vote for political parties as a whole; thus they have no influence on the party-supplied order in which party candidates are elected. If voters had some inf ...
systems, where each party lists its candidates according to the party's candidate selection process. This sets the order of candidates on the list and thus, in effect, their probability of being elected. The first candidate on a list, for example, will get the first seat that party wins. Each voter casts a vote for a list of candidates. Voters, therefore, do not have the option to express their preferences at the ballot as to which of a party's candidates are elected into office. A party is allocated seats in proportion to the number of votes it receives. *
Ley de Lemas ''Ley de Lemas'' is a form of the double simultaneous vote (DSV) electoral system which is, or has been, used in elections in Argentina, Uruguay, and Honduras. It is an unusual variant of Open list, open party-list proportional representation, li ...
- an intermediate system used in Uruguay, where each party presents several closed lists, each representing a faction. Seats are distributed between parties according to the number of votes, and then between the factions within each party. *
Open list Open list describes any variant of party-list proportional representation where voters have at least some influence on the order in which a Political party, party's Candidate, candidates are elected. This is as opposed to closed list, which allo ...
systems, where voters may vote, depending on the model, for one person, or for two, or indicate their order of preference within the list. These votes sometimes rearrange the order of names on the party's list and thus which of its candidates are elected. Nevertheless, the number of candidates elected from the list is determined by the number of votes the list receives. *
Localized list A localized list or local list is a technique used under systems of party-list proportional representation Party-list proportional representation (list-PR) is a subset of proportional representation electoral systems in which multiple candidates ...
systems, where parties divide their candidates in single member-like constituencies, which are ranked inside each general party list depending by their percentages. This method allows electors to judge every single candidate as in a FPTP system. * Two-tier party list systems - as in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. In
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, for example, the country is divided into ten multiple-member voting districts arranged in three regions, electing 135 representatives. In addition, 40 compensatory seats are elected. Voters have one vote which can be cast for an individual candidate or for a party list on the district ballot. To determine district winners, candidates are apportioned their share of their party's district list vote plus their individual votes. The compensatory seats are apportioned to the regions according to the party votes aggregated nationally, and then to the districts where the compensatory representatives are determined. In the 2007 general election, the district magnitudes, including compensatory representatives, varied between 14 and 28. The basic design of the system has remained unchanged since its introduction in 1920.


Mixed systems

There are
mixed electoral system A mixed electoral system or mixed-member electoral system combines methods of majoritarian representation, majoritarian and proportional representation (PR). The majoritarian component is usually first-past-the-post voting (FPTP/SMP), whereas the ...
s combining a plurality/majority formula with a proportional formula or using the proportional component to compensate for disproportionality caused by the plurality/majority component. The most prominent mixed compensatory system is
mixed member proportional representation Mixed-member proportional representation (MMP or MMPR) is a mixed electoral system A mixed electoral system or mixed-member electoral system combines methods of majoritarian representation, majoritarian and proportional representation (PR). ...
(MMP). It combines a single-district vote, usually first-past-the-post, with a compensatory regional or nationwide party list proportional vote. For example, suppose that a party wins 10 seats based on plurality, but requires 15 seats in total to obtain its proportional share of an elected body. A fully proportional mixed compensatory system would award this party 5 compensatory (PR) seats, raising the party's seat count from 10 to 15. MMP has the potential to produce proportional or moderately proportional election outcomes, depending on a number of factors such as the ratio of FPTP seats to PR seats, the existence or nonexistence of extra compensatory seats to make up for
overhang seat Overhang seats are constituency seats won in an election under the traditional mixed-member proportional representation, mixed member proportional (MMP) system (as it originated in Germany), when a party's share of the nationwide votes would ent ...
s, and electoral thresholds. It was invented for the German
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal Diet (assembly), Diet") is the German Federalism, federal parliament. It is the only federal representative body that is directly elected by the German people. It is comparable to the United States House of Representat ...
after the Second World War, and has spread to
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,
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,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands. It is the ...
and
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 mi ...
. The system is also used for the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament where it is called the additional member system. Voters typically have two votes, one for their district representative and one for the party list. The list vote usually determines how many seats are allocated to each party in parliament. After the district winners have been determined, sufficient candidates from each party list are elected to "top-up" each party to the overall number of parliamentary seats due to it according to the party's overall list vote. Before apportioning list seats, all list votes for parties which failed to reach the threshold are discarded. If eliminated parties lose seats in this manner, then the seat counts for parties that achieved the threshold improve. Any direct seats won by independent candidates are subtracted from the parliamentary total used to apportion list seats. Proportionality of MMP can be compromised if the ratio of list to district seats is too low, as it may then not be possible to completely compensate district seat disproportionality. Another factor can be how
overhang seat Overhang seats are constituency seats won in an election under the traditional mixed-member proportional representation, mixed member proportional (MMP) system (as it originated in Germany), when a party's share of the nationwide votes would ent ...
s are handled, district seats that a party wins in excess of the number due to it under the list vote. To achieve proportionality, other parties require "balance seats", increasing the size of parliament by twice the number of overhang seats, but this is not always done. Until recently, Germany increased the size of parliament by the number of overhang seats but did not use the increased size for apportioning list seats. This was changed for the 2013 national election after the constitutional court rejected the previous law, not compensating for overhang seats had resulted in a negative vote weight effect. Lesotho, Scotland and Wales do not increase the size of parliament at all, and, in 2012, a New Zealand parliamentary commission also proposed abandoning compensation for overhang seats, and so fixing the size of parliament. At the same time, it would abolish the single-seat threshold any such seats would then be overhang seats and would otherwise have increased the size of parliament further and reduce the electoral threshold from 5% to 4%. Proportionality would not suffer. Similarly to MMP, mixed single vote systems (MSV) use a proportional formula for allocating seats on the compensatory tier, but voters only have one vote that functions on both levels. MSV may use a positive vote transfer system, where unused votes are transferred from the lower tier to the upper, compensatory tier, where only these are used in the proportional formula. Alternatively, the MMP (seat linkage) algorithm can be used with a mixed single vote to "top-up" to a proportional result. With MSV, the similar requirements as in MMP apply to guarantee an overall proportional result.
Parallel voting Parallel voting is a type of mixed electoral system in which representatives are voted into a single chamber using two or more different systems, most often first-past-the-post voting In a first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP or FPP) ...
(MMM) systems use proportional formulas to allocate seats on a proportional tier separately from other tiers. Certain systems, like scorporo use a proportional formula after combining results of a parallel list vote with transferred votes from lower tiers (using negative or positive vote transfer). Another mixed system is dual-member proportional representation (DMP). It is a single-vote system that elects two representatives in every district. The first seat in each district is awarded to the candidate who wins a plurality of the votes, similar to FPTP voting. The remaining seats are awarded in a compensatory manner to achieve proportionality across a larger region. DMP employs a formula similar to the "best near-winner" variant of MMP used in the German state of
Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg (; ), commonly shortened to BW or BaWü, is a states of Germany, German state () in Southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the southern part of Germany's western border with France. With more than 11.07 million inha ...
. In Baden-Württemberg, compensatory seats are awarded to candidates who receive high levels of support at the district level compared with other candidates of the same party. DMP differs in that at most one candidate per district is permitted to obtain a compensatory seat. If multiple candidates contesting the same district are slated to receive one of their parties' compensatory seats, the candidate with the highest vote share is elected and the others are eliminated. DMP is similar to STV in that all elected representatives, including those who receive compensatory seats, serve their local districts. Invented in 2013 in the
Canadian province Within the geographical areas of Canada, the ten provinces and three territories are sub-national administrative divisions under the jurisdiction of the Constitution of Canada, Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three pr ...
of
Alberta Alberta ( ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada, provinces and territories of Canada. It is part of Western Canada and is one of the three Canadian Prairies, prairie provinces. Alberta is bordered by British Columbia to t ...
, DMP received attention on
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island (PEI; ) is one of the thirteen Provinces and territories of Canada, provinces and territories of Canada. It is the smallest province in terms of land area and population, but the most densely populated. The island has seve ...
where it appeared on a 2016 plebiscite as a potential replacement for FPTP, but was eliminated on the third round. It was also one of three proportional voting system options on a 2018 referendum in
British Columbia British Columbia (commonly abbreviated as BC) is the westernmost Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. It has a diverse geography, with rugged landscapes that include ...
.


Biproportional apportionment

Biproportional apportionment aims to achieve proportionality in two dimensions, for example: proportionality by region and proportionality by party. There are several mathematical methods to attain biproportionality. One method is called iterative proportional fitting (IPF). It was proposed for elections by the mathematician
Michel Balinski Michel Louis Balinski (born Michał Ludwik Baliński; October 6, 1933 – February 4, 2019) was an applied mathematician, economist, operations research analyst and political scientist. As a Polish Americans, Polish-American, educated in the Unit ...
in 1989, and first used by the city of Zurich for its council elections in February 2006, in a modified form called "new Zurich apportionment" (''Neue Zürcher Zuteilungsverfahren''). Zurich had had to modify its party list PR system after the Swiss Federal Court ruled that its smallest wards, as a result of population changes over many years, unconstitutionally disadvantaged smaller political parties. With biproportional apportionment, the use of open party lists has not changed, but the way winning candidates are determined has. The proportion of seats due to each party is calculated according to their overall citywide vote, and then the district winners are adjusted to conform to these proportions. This means that some candidates, who would otherwise have been successful, can be denied seats in favor of initially unsuccessful candidates, in order to improve the relative proportions of their respective parties overall. This peculiarity is accepted by the Zurich electorate because the resulting city council is proportional and all votes, regardless of district magnitude, now have equal weight. The system has since been adopted by other Swiss cities and cantons. Balinski has proposed another variant called fair majority voting (FMV) to replace single-winner plurality/majoritarian electoral systems, in particular the system used for the
US House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives, often referred to as the House of Representatives, the U.S. House, or simply the House, is the Lower house, lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the United States Senate, Senate being ...
. FMV introduces proportionality without changing the method of voting, the number of seats, or thepossibly gerrymandereddistrict boundaries. Seats would be apportioned to parties in a proportional manner at the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, U ...
level. In a related proposal for the
UK parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of We ...
, whose elections are contested by many more parties, the authors note that parameters can be tuned to adopt any degree of proportionality deemed acceptable to the electorate. In order to elect smaller parties, a number of constituencies would be awarded to candidates placed fourth or even fifth in the constituency unlikely to be acceptable to the electorate, the authors concede but this effect could be substantially reduced by incorporating a third, regional, apportionment tier, or by specifying minimum thresholds.


Candidate Based Systems


Single transferable vote

The single transferable vote (STV), also called ranked choice voting, is a ranked system: voters rank candidates in order of preference. Voting districts usually elect three to seven representatives; each voter casts just one vote. The count is cyclic, electing or eliminating candidates and transferring votes until all seats are filled. A candidate whose tally reaches a quota, the minimum vote that guarantees election, is declared elected. The candidate's surplus votes (those in excess of the quota) are transferred to other candidates at a fraction of their value proportionate to the surplus, according to the voters' preferences. If there are no surplus votes to transfer and there are still seats to fill, the least popular candidate is eliminated, those votes being transferred to their next preference at full value. The votes are transferred according to the next marked preference. Any votes that cannot be transferred are moved to a pile labelled exhausted or non-transferable. The cont continues until all the seats are filled or until there is only one more candidate than the number of remaining open seats. At that point all of them except the least popular candidate are declared elected, even if they do not have quota. The transfer of votes of eliminated candidates is simple -- the transfer of surplus votes is more involved. There are various methods for transferring surplus votes. Manual methods used in early times and still today in places where STV was adopted in early 20th Century (Ireland and Malta) transfer surplus votes according to a randomly selected sample, or transfer only a segment of the surplus selected based on the next usable marked preference. Other more recent methods transfer all votes at a fraction of their value (the fraction derived by the surplus divided by the candidate's tally) and with reference to all the marked preferences on the ballots, not just the next usable preference. They may need the use of a computer. The different methods may not produce the same result in all respects. But the front runners in the first count before any transfers are conducted are all or mostly elected in the end, so the various methods of transfers all produce much the same result. Some variants of STV allow transfers to already elected or eliminated candidates, and these, too, can require a computer. In effect, the method produces groups of voters of much the same size so the overall effect is to reflect the diversity of the electorate, each substantial group having one or more representatives the group voted for. Statistics of effective votes vary. In Cambridge, under STV, 90 percent of voters see their vote help to elect a candidate, more than 65 percent of voters see their first choice candidate elected, and more than 95 percent of voters see one of their top three choices win. Other reports claim that 90% of voters have a representative to whom they gave their first preference. Voters can choose candidates using any criteria they wish, the proportionality is implicit. Political parties are not necessary; all other prominent PR electoral systems presume that parties reflect voters wishes, which many believe gives power to parties. STV satisfies the electoral system criterion '' proportionality for solid coalitions'' a solid coalition for a set of candidates is the group of voters that rank all those candidates above all others and is therefore considered a system of proportional representation. However, the small district magnitude used in STV elections (usually 5 to 9 seats, but sometimes rising to 21) has been criticized as impairing proportionality, especially when more parties compete than there are seats available, and STV has, for this reason, sometimes been labelled "quasi proportional". While this may be true when considering districts in isolation, results are proportional. Even though Ireland has particularly small magnitudes (3 to 5 seats), results of STV elections are "highly proportional". In
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, the average magnitude was 4.0 but eight parties gained representation, four of them with less than 3% of first preference votes nationally. Six independent candidates also won election. STV has also been described as the proportional system as it elects candidates without the need for parties. The influence of parties can distort proportionality. The system tends to handicap extreme candidates because, to gain transfers based on back-up preferences and so improve their chance of election, candidates need to canvass voters beyond their own circle of supporters, and so need to moderate their views. Conversely, widely respected candidates can win election even if they receive relatively few first preferences. They do this by benefiting from strong subordinate preference support. Of course, they must have enough initial support so that they are not in the bottom rung of popularity or they will be eliminated when the field of candidate is thinned.


Proportional approval voting

Systems can be devised that aim at proportional representation but are based on approval votes on individual candidates (not parties). Such is the idea of proportional approval voting (PAV). When there are a lot of seats to be filled, as in a legislature, counting ballots under PAV may not be feasible, so sequential variants have been used, such as
sequential proportional approval voting Sequential proportional approval voting (SPAV) or reweighted approval voting (RAV) is an electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how ...
(SPAV).


Sequential proportional approval voting

Sequential proportional approval voting Sequential proportional approval voting (SPAV) or reweighted approval voting (RAV) is an electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how ...
(SPAV) is a multi-winner voting system similar to STV in that voters can express support for multiple candidates, but different in that candidates are graded instead of
ranked A ranking is a relationship between a set of items such that, for any two items, the first is either "ranked higher than", "ranked lower than" or "ranked equal to" the second. In order theory, mathematics, this is known as a Strict weak ordering ...
. That is, a voter approves or disapproves of each candidate. SPAV was used briefly in Sweden during the early 1900s. The vote counting procedure occurs in rounds. The first round of SPAV is identical to
approval voting Approval voting is an electoral system in which voters can select many candidates instead of selecting only one candidate. Description Approval voting ballots show a list of the options of candidates running. Approval voting lets each voter i ...
. All ballots are added with equal weight, and the candidate with the highest overall score is elected. In all subsequent rounds, ballots that support candidates who have already been elected are added with a reduced weight. Thus voters who support none of the winners in the early rounds are increasingly likely to elect one of their preferred candidates in a later round. The procedure has been shown to yield proportional outcomes especially when voters are loyal to distinct groups of candidates (e.g. political parties).


Reweighted Range Voting

Reweighted Range Voting (RRV) uses the same method as
sequential proportional approval voting Sequential proportional approval voting (SPAV) or reweighted approval voting (RAV) is an electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how ...
but uses a score ballot. Reweighted Range Voting was used for the nominations in the Visual Effects category for recent Academy Award Oscars from 2013 through 2017, and is used in the city of
Berkeley, California Berkeley ( ) is a city on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California, United States. It is named after the 18th-century Irish people, Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley. It borders the cities of Oakla ...
, for sorting the priorities of the city council.


Asset voting

In asset voting, the voters vote for candidates and then the candidates negotiate amongst each other and reallocate votes amongst themselves. Asset voting was proposed by
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, poet and mathematician. His most notable works are ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' (1865) and its sequel ...
in 1884 and has been more recently independently rediscovered and extended by Warren D. Smith and Forest Simmons. As such, this method substitutes candidates' collective preferences for those of the voters.


Evaluative Proportional Representation (EPR)

Similar to Majority Judgment voting that elects single winners, Evaluative Proportional Representation (EPR) elects all the members of a legislative body. Both systems minimize the quantitative and qualitative wasting of votes. Each citizen grades the fitness for office of as many of the candidates as they wish as either Excellent (ideal), Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Poor, or Reject (entirely unsuitable). Multiple candidates may be given the same grade by a voter. Using EPR, each citizen elects their representative at-large for a city council. For a large and diverse state legislature, each citizen chooses to vote through any of the districts or official non-geographically defined electoral associations in the country. Each voter grades any number of candidates in the whole country. Each elected representative has a different voting power (a different number of weighted votes) in the legislative body. This number is equal to the total number of votes given exclusively to each member from all citizens. Each member's weighted vote results from receiving one of the following from each voter: their highest grade, highest remaining grade, or proxy vote. No citizen's vote is " wasted" because each citizen's vote equally adds to the voting power in the legislative body of the elected candidate they see as likely to represent their hopes and concerns most accurately. Unlike all the other proportional representation systems, each EPR voter, and each self-identifying minority or majority, is proportionally represented exactly. Also, like Majority Judgment, EPR reduces by almost half both the incentives and possibilities for voters to use Tactical Voting.


History

One of the earliest proposals of proportionality in an assembly was by
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Befor ...
in his influential pamphlet '' Thoughts on Government'', written in 1776 during the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies formed independent states that defeated the British in the American Revolut ...
: Mirabeau, speaking to the Assembly of Provence on January 30, 1789, was also an early proponent of a proportionally representative assembly: In February 1793, the
Marquis de Condorcet Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (; 17 September 1743 – 29 March 1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher and mathematician. His ideas, including support for a Economic liberalism, liberal econo ...
led the drafting of the Girondist constitution which proposed a
limited voting Limited voting (also known as partial block voting) is a voting system in which electors have fewer votes than there are positions available. The positions are awarded to the candidates who receive the most votes absolutely. In the special case ...
scheme with proportional aspects. Before that could be voted on, the Montagnards took over the
National Convention The National Convention (french: link=no, Convention nationale) was the parliament of the Kingdom of France for one day and the French First Republic for the rest of its existence during the French Revolution, following the two-year National ...
and produced their own
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who ...
. On June 24, Saint-Just proposed the
single non-transferable vote Single non-transferable vote or SNTV is an electoral system used to elect multiple winners. It is a generalization of first-past-the-post, applied to Electoral district, multi-member districts with each voter casting just one vote. Unlike FPTP, wh ...
, which can be proportional, for national elections but the constitution was passed on the same day specifying
first-past-the-post voting In a first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP or FPP), formally called single-member plurality voting (SMP) when used in single-member districts or informally choose-one voting in contrast to ranked voting, or score voting, voters cast the ...
. Already in 1787, James Wilson, like Adams a US Founding Father, understood the importance of multiple-member districts: "Bad elections proceed from the smallness of the districts which give an opportunity to bad men to intrigue themselves into office", and again, in 1791, in his Lectures on Law: "It may, I believe, be assumed as a general maxim, of no small importance in democratical governments, that the more extensive the district of election is, the choice will be the more wise and enlightened". The 1790
Constitution of Pennsylvania The Constitution of Pennsylvania is the supreme law within the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All acts of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, General Assembly, the Governor of Pennsylvania, governor, and each governmental ...
specified multiple-member districts for the state Senate and required their boundaries to follow county lines. STV or more precisely, an election method where voters have one transferable vote, was first invented in 1819 by an English schoolmaster, Thomas Wright Hill, who devised a "plan of election" for the committee of the ''Society for Literary and Scientific Improvement'' in Birmingham that used not only transfers of surplus votes from winners but also from losers, a refinement that later both Andræ and Hare initially omitted. But the procedure was unsuitable for a public election and was not publicised. In 1839, Hill's son,
Rowland Hill Sir Rowland Hill, KCB, FRS (3 December 1795 – 27 August 1879) was an English teacher, inventor and social reformer. He campaigned for a comprehensive reform of the postal system The mail or post is a system for physically transporti ...
, recommended the concept for public elections in Adelaide, and a simple process was used in which voters formed as many groups as there were representatives to be elected, each group electing one representative. The first practical PR election method, the List Plan system, was conceived by Thomas Gilpin, a retired paper-mill owner, in a paper he read to the
American Philosophical Society The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 in Philadelphia, is a scholarly organization that promotes knowledge in the sciences and humanities through research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and communi ...
in Philadelphia in 1844: "On the representation of minorities of electors to act with the majority in elected assemblies". It was never put into practical use, but even as late as 1914 it was put forward as a way to elect the U.S. electoral college delegates and for local elections. A practical election using the Single Transferable Vote system (a combination of preferential voting and multi-member districts) was devised in Denmark by Carl Andræ, a mathematician, and first used there in 1855, making it the oldest PR system. That system was later adopted for national elections in Malta (1921), the Republic of Ireland (1921) and Australia (1948). STV was also invented (apparently independently) in the UK in 1857 by Thomas Hare, a London
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, rese ...
, in his pamphlet ''The Machinery of Representation'' and expanded on in his 1859 ''Treatise on the Election of Representatives''. The scheme was enthusiastically taken up by
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873) was an English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the ...
, ensuring international interest. The 1865 edition of the book included the transfer of preferences from dropped candidates and the STV method was essentially complete, although Hare pictured the entire British Isles as one single district. Mill proposed it to the House of Commons in 1867, but the British parliament rejected it. The name evolved from "Mr.Hare's scheme" to "proportional representation", then "proportional representation with the single transferable vote", and finally, by the end of the 19th century, to "the single transferable vote". In Australia, the political activist
Catherine Helen Spence Catherine Helen Spence (31 October 1825 – 3 April 1910) was a Scottish-born Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician, leading suffragist, and Georgist. Spence was also a minister of religion and social worker, and supporter of ...
became an enthusiast of STV and an author on the subject. Through her influence and the efforts of the Tasmanian politician
Andrew Inglis Clark Andrew Inglis Clark (24 February 1848 – 14 November 1907) was an Australian founding father and co-author of the Australian Constitution; he was also an engineer, barrister, politician, electoral reformer and jurist. He initially qualified as a ...
, Tasmania became an early pioneer of the system, electing the world's first legislators through STV in 1896, prior to its federation into Australia. A party-list proportional representation system was devised and described in 1878 by Victor D'Hondt in Belgium, which became the first country to adopt list PR in 1900 for its national parliament. D'Hondt's method of seat allocation, the D'Hondt method, is still widely used. Some Swiss cantons (beginning with Ticino in 1890) used the system before Belgium. Victor Considerant, a utopian socialist, devised a similar system in an 1892 book. Many European countries adopted similar systems during or after World War I. List PR was favoured on
the Continent Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regio ...
because the use of lists in elections, the scrutin de liste, was already widespread. STV was preferred in the English-speaking world because its tradition was the election of individuals. In the UK, the 1917
Speaker Speaker may refer to: Society and politics * Speaker (politics) The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a Legislature, legislative body, is its chairperson, presiding officer, or the chair. The title was first used in 1377 in Englan ...
's Conference recommended STV for all multi-seat Westminster constituencies, but it was only applied to
university constituencies A university constituency is a constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, or (election) precinct is a subdivision of a larger state ( ...
, lasting from 1918 until 1950 when those constituencies were abolished. In Ireland, STV was used in 1918 in the Dublin University constituency, and was introduced for devolved elections in 1921. STV is currently used for two national lower houses of parliament, Ireland, since independence (as the
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a State (polity), state established in December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. The treaty ended the three-year Irish War of Independ ...
) in 1922, and Malta, since 1921, long before independence in 1966. In Ireland, two attempts were made by
Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil (, ; meaning 'Soldiers of Destiny' or 'Warriors of Fál'), officially Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party ( ga, audio=ga-Fianna Fáil.ogg, Fianna Fáil – An Páirtí Poblachtánach), is a conservative Con ...
governments to abolish STV and replace it with the '
First Past the Post In a first-past-the-post electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Electoral systems are used in poli ...
' plurality system. Both attempts were rejected by voters in referendums held in 1959 and again in 1968. STV is also prescribed for all other elections in Ireland including that of the presidency, although it is there effectively the alternative vote, as it is an election with a single winner. It is also used for the Northern Ireland Assembly and European and local authorities, Scottish local authorities, some New Zealand and Australian local authorities, the
Tasmanian ) , nickname = , image_map = Tasmania in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of Tasmania in AustraliaCoordinates: , subdivision_type = Country , subdi ...
(since 1907) and
Australian Capital Territory The Australian Capital Territory (commonly abbreviated as ACT), known as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) until 1938, is a landlocked federal territory of Australia containing the national capital Canberra and some surrounding township#Aust ...
assemblies, where the method is known as ''Hare-Clark'', and the city council in
Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area, the cities population of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 U.S. census was 118,403, making it the fourth most ...
, (since 1941). PR is used by a majority of the world's 33 most robust democracies with populations of at least two million people; only six use plurality or a majoritarian system (
runoff Runoff, run-off or RUNOFF may refer to: * RUNOFF, the first computer text-formatting program * Runoff or run-off, another name for bleed, printing that lies beyond the edges to which a printed sheet is trimmed * Runoff or run-off, a stock marke ...
or instant runoff) for elections to the legislative assembly, four use parallel systems, and 23 use PR. PR dominates Europe, including Germany and most of northern and eastern Europe; it is also used for elections. France adopted PR at the end of World War II, but discarded it in 1958; it was used for parliament elections in 1986.
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
has the most widespread use of proportional representation, which is the system used to elect not only national legislatures and local councils, but also all local executives. PR is less common in the English-speaking world; and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
use STV for election of legislators.
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
uses it for Senate elections.
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands. It is the ...
adopted MMP in 1993. But UK, Canada and India use plurality (First Past the Post) systems for legislative elections. In
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
, STV was used to elect provincial legislators in
Alberta Alberta ( ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada, provinces and territories of Canada. It is part of Western Canada and is one of the three Canadian Prairies, prairie provinces. Alberta is bordered by British Columbia to t ...
from 1926 to 1955, and in
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...
from 1920 to 1953. In both provinces the alternative vote (AV) was used in rural areas.
First-past-the-post In a first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP or FPP), formally called single-member plurality voting (SMP) when used in single-member districts or informally choose-one voting in contrast to ranked voting, or score voting, voters cast their ...
was re-adopted in Alberta by the dominant party for reasons of political advantage. In Manitoba a principal reason was the underrepresentation of Winnipeg in the provincial legislature. STV has some history in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. Between 1915 and 1962, twenty-four cities used the system for at least one election. In many cities, minority parties and other groups used STV to break up single-party monopolies on elective office. One of the most famous cases is
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
, where a coalition of Republicans and others pursued the adoption of STV in 1936 as part of an effort to free the city from control by the
Tammany Hall Tammany Hall, also known as the Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, was a New York City political organization founded in 1786 and incorporated on May 12, 1789 as the Tammany Society. It became the main loc ...
machine A machine is a physical system using Power (physics), power to apply Force, forces and control Motion, movement to perform an action. The term is commonly applied to artificial devices, such as those employing engines or motors, but also to na ...
. Another famous case is
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Hamilton County, Ohio, Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located at the northern side of the confluence of the Licking River (Kentucky), Licking and Ohio Rive ...
, Ohio, where, in 1924, Democrats and Progressive-wing Republicans secured the adoption of a council-manager charter with STV elections in order to dislodge the Republican machine of Rudolph K. Hynicka. Although Cincinnati's council-manager system survives, Republicans and other disaffected groups replaced STV with
plurality-at-large voting Plurality block voting, also known as plurality-at-large voting, block vote or block voting (BV) is a non-Proportional representation, proportional voting system for electing representatives in Multiwinner voting, multi-winner elections. Each vo ...
in 1957. From 1870 to 1980,
Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its largest metropolitan areas include the Chicago metropolitan area, and the Metro East section, of Greater St. Louis. Other smaller metropolitan areas inc ...
used a semi-proportional
cumulative voting Cumulative voting (also accumulation voting, weighted voting or multi-voting) is a multiple-winner method intended to promote more proportional representation than First-past-the-post, winner-take-all elections such as block voting or first past ...
system to elect its House of Representatives. Each district across the state elected both Republicans and Democrats year-after-year.
Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area, the cities population of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 U.S. census was 118,403, making it the fourth most ...
(STV), and
Peoria, Illinois Peoria ( ) is the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, United States, and the largest city on the Illinois River. As of the United States Census, 2020, 2020 census, the city had a population of 113,150. It is the principal city of the Peoria ...
(cumulative voting), have used PR for many years now.
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of Northern California. The city proper is the List of Ca ...
(before 1977 and 1980–1999) had citywide elections in which people cast votes for as many as nine candidates, but usually five or six candidates, simultaneously ( block voting), delivering some of the benefits of proportional representation through the use of a multi-member district. San Francisco used preferential voting ( Bucklin Voting) in its 1917 city election.


List of countries using proportional representation

Eighty-five countries in the world use a proportional electoral system to fill a nationally elected legislative body. The table below lists those countries and gives information on the specific PR system that is in use. Detailed information on electoral systems applying to the first chamber of the legislature is maintained by the
ACE Electoral Knowledge Network The ACE Electoral Knowledge Network is a web portal with information on elections designed to meet the needs of people working in the electoral field. Goals The goal of the ACE network is to provide knowledge to people working in the field el ...
. Countries using PR as part of a mixed-member majoritarian (e.g. parallel voting) system are not included.


Incentives for choosing an electoral system

Changing the electoral system requires the agreement of a majority of the currently selected legislators, who were chosen using the incumbent electoral system. Therefore, an interesting question is what incentives make current legislators support a new electoral system, particularly a PR system. Many political scientists argue that PR was adopted by parties on the right as a strategy to survive amid suffrage expansion, democratization and the rise of workers' parties. According to Stein Rokkan in a seminal 1970 study, parties on the right opted to adopt PR as a way to survive as competitive parties in situations when the parties on the right were not united enough to exist under majoritarian systems. This argument was formalized and supported by Carles Boix in a 1999 study. Amel Ahmed notes that prior to the adoption of PR, many electoral systems were based on majority or plurality rule, and that these systems risked eradicating parties on the right in areas where the working class was large in numbers. He therefore argues that parties on the right adopted PR as a way to ensure that they would survive as potent political forces amid suffrage expansion. A 2021 study linked the adoption of PR to incumbent fears of revolutionary threats. In contrast, other scholars argue that the choice to adopt PR was also due to a demand by parties on the left to ensure a foothold in politics, as well as to encourage a consensual system that would help the left realize its preferred economic policies.


See also

*
Hare quota The Hare quota (also known as the simple quota) is a formula used under some forms of proportional representation. In these voting systems the quota is the number of votes that guarantees a candidate, or a party in some cases, captures a seat. Th ...
* Sainte-Laguë method * Interactive representation * Direct representation *
One person, one vote "One man, one vote", or "one person, one vote", expresses the principle that individuals should have equal representation in voting. This slogan is used by advocates of political equality to refer to such electoral reforms as universal suffrage, ...
* Justified representation, a generalization of the principle of proportionality to multiwinner approval voting. *
Electoral threshold The electoral threshold, or election threshold, is the minimum share of the primary vote that a candidate or political party requires to achieve before they become entitled to representation or additional seats in a legislature A legislat ...
* Spare vote


References


Further reading


Books

* Abbott, Lewis F. ''British Democracy: Its Restoration and Extension''. ISR/Kindle Books, 2019. . Chapter 7, "Electoral System Reform: Increasing Competition and Voter Choice and Influence". * * * Batto, Nathan F.; Huang, Chi; Tan, Alexander C.; Cox, Gary (2016). ''Mixed-Member Electoral Systems in Constitutional Context: Taiwan, Japan, and Beyond.'' Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. * * * * * * *Jenifer Hart, Proportional Representation: Critics of the British Electoral System,1820-1945 (Clarendon Press, 1992) *F.D. Parsons, Thomas Hare and Political Representation in Victorian Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) *


Journals

* * *


External links


The De Borda Institute
A Northern Ireland-based organisation promoting inclusive voting procedures
Election Districts Voting
improves PR with overlapping districts elections for first past the post, alternative vote and single transferable vote voters
Electoral Reform Society
founded in England in 1884, the longest running PR organization. Contains good information about
single transferable vote Single transferable vote (STV) is a multi-winner electoral system in which voters cast a single vote in the form of a ranked-choice ballot. Voters have the option to rank candidates, and their vote may be transferred according to alternate ...
the Society's preferred form of PR
Electoral Reform Australia

Proportional Representation Society of Australia

Fair Vote Canada

FairVote, USA

Why Not Proportional Representation?

Vote Dilution means Voters have Less Voice
Law is Cool site
Proportional Representation and British Democracy
Debate on British electoral system reform


Australia's Upper Houses - ABC Rear Vision
A podcast about the development of Australia's upper houses into STV proportional representation elected chambers. {{Authority control